Castel Sant' Angelo
Next to the Sala Adrianeo is the Sala Festoni. On the left wall of this room (as one enters) is an oil painting, The Reception of King James III and VIII (Ricevimento del Re Giacomo III d'Inghilterra). The Sala Festoni is not generally open to the public but it is sometimes possible to gain admittance by asking one of the guards in the Sala Adrianeo.
The painting is by Antonio Gionimo, called Gionima, 1 and is approximately 3 metres wide by 2.5 metres high. King James stands at the centre with members of his court behind him. He appears to be wearing the star of the French Order of the Holy Spirit.
There is some dispute over the exact occasion of the painting. Hermann Voss and the Grove Dictionary of Art suggest that James is being received by Cardinal Ulises Giuseppe Gozzadini at the Archiepiscopal Palace in Imola. 2 Bryan Bevan suggests that James is being received by Cardinal Prospero Lambertini (later Pope Benedict XIV) in Bologna. 3 The welcoming cardinal is definitely not Lambertini (who was not publicly made a cardinal until 1728). However, the buildings in the background of the painting do not resemble the Archiepiscopal Palace in Imola. It is likely that the painting records James' welcome by Cardinal Gozzadini who was Papal Legate at Bologna.
The painting may have been a companion piece to a painting by Giuseppe Maria Crespi, The Meeting of King James III and VIII and Prince Albani, now in the Narodni Gallery in Prague. 4 According to Voss it was in a private collection in Bologna as late as 1922. 5
1 Gionima was born in Venice in 1697, and died in Bologna in 1732. He was one of the most notable students of Giuseppe Maria Crespi.
2 Hermann Voss, "Quellenforschung und Stilkritik: Eine praktische Methodik mit Beispielen aus der spatitalienischen Malerei", Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, II (Heft 3, 1933): 204; The Dictionary of Art (New York: Grove's Dictionaries, 1996).
3 Bryan Bevan, King James the Third of England: A Study of Kingship in Exile (London: Robert Hale, 1967), facing page 112..
4 The Dictionary of Art (New York: Grove's Dictionaries, 1996).
5 Voss, 203.
Image 1 (Reception of King James III and VIII): Bevan, facing page 112..